Duke Wins Ugly, 62-54, Over Clemson

Heading into Sunday night's game against Clemson, Duke knew they would be without Shavlik Randolph. What the Blue Devils didn't count on was coming to play without their offensive game. Despite the lack of a perimeter attack throughout the night, Duke managed to improve to 9-0 on the season.

J.J. Redick scored 20 of his game high 24 points in the second half as Duke rallied from a six point second half deficit to beat Clemson 62-54.

Breaking the 60 point plateau looked to be nearly impossible at intermission as the Blue Devils shot a dismal 32% in the opening half, including missing all six three pointers, while turning the ball over 14 times. Still, a number of Clemson miscues forced by the Duke pressure allowed the Blue Devils a 24-19 advantage.

Shelden Williams scored 10 of his 13 points during that first half including four of the final six Duke baskets. Williams added 16 rebounds and three blocks for his 24th career double-double.

Coming out of halftime it seemed as though Duke would make one of their patented runs to extend the lead to a comfortable cushion. However the cold shooting would continue as Duke hit just three shots in the opening 10 minutes of the second half while Clemson began to exploit their height advantage inside behind the strong play of senior big man Sharrod Ford who finished with a team high 20 points and eight rebounds.

Then, Duke started heating up as a loose ball found its way into Redick's hand for an open three, which keyed the junior scoring the next 12 Duke points which capped off a 28-13 spurt to make it 55-45 with 5:24 remaining.

Before Redick caught fire, it was another junior who kept the Duke offense from completely flaming out as Lee Melchionni hit a pair of clutch three pointers to keep Duke within striking distance. Then, after Shelden Williams converted inside, it was time for Redick's heroics.

Freshman DeMarcus Nelson added six points and nine rebounds despite shooting just 3-of-10 from the floor in his first game away from his thumb brace.

The victory, albeit an ugly one, places Duke atop the standings in the ACC early on. The Blue Devils return to action this week when they host non-conference opponent Princeton in Cameron.


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